The step to the top range of the Metal-elite could work out: With "Dawn ì
of victory", the Italian Symphonic Epic Metal band ì
Rhapsody release their third album to date. More than a 250,000 ì
copies could be sold of their first two albums "Legendary tales" and ì
"Symphony of enchanted lands". Figures that even big names are still ì
trying for. Additionally, the band around guitar-player Luca Turilli ì
and Keyboarder Alex Staropoli did a successful European tour with ì
Stratovarius. Far more than 30 concerts were played by the before hand ì
stage-unproven band in only seven weeks and each night could enthuse the ì
eagerly waiting fans. A cornerstone for this was the new drummer, Ex-ì
Sieges Even drummer Alex Holzwarth. But also the addition of a second ì
rhythms guitar player was an advantage for the Rhapsody performance. ì
More precise to the point, rocky and powerful than you had ever expected.
Obviously, this harder way was also pleasant to the band members because ì
"Dawn of victory" is more grounded and more energetic than everything ì
we have heard before from this band. We spoke to Luca Turilli about ì
the new album, what has been and what is about to come for 2001. Because ì
looking at the release schedule one sees clearly that with a prior single, a ì
video-clip, a picture-lp incl. a poster, a 2-cd digipac including a 64-page ì
booklet and - last but not least - the regular album the band is really up ì
for big things. This time, so the plans of the record-company, the Top 20 of ì
the German charts should be reached. A thoroughly realistic plan if you ì
alone have seen which reactions the band got at the latest Wacken Open ì
Air. Rhapsody 2000: The Dawn of victory is coming!
Luca, your new album "Dawn of victory" sounds more powerful ì
and rocky than the previous ones. Especially the guitars have a more ì
dominating role than ever. Is this the result of the experiences of the tour ì
together with Stratovarius?
"I think that the experiences of that tour confirmed what we had in the back ì
of our heads, anyway. After the ultra-bombastic "Symphony of enchanted ì
lands" it was clear to us that the new album would have to be less ì
orchestral but rather be arranged more guitar-oriented. It's not that we ì
haven't been content with the outcome of the last album but we wanted to ì
document a further, really independent episode in the career of Rhapsody. ì
Our target this time was to create one of the most symphonic Metal records ì
that you would find on the market. That's why "Dawn of victory" ì
sounds much heavier; also because not only the compositions themselves are ì
much heavier and more powerful, but also the lyrics of the third chapter of ì
my "Emerald sword saga". The lyrics are really heavy and tell about ì
gruesome battles that were necessary for the release of the praised land ì
that was already mentioned in "Enchanted lands". And the other thing ì
is that we realised with the live-shows how difficult it is to get all those ì
orchestral stuff on stage. Seen that way there are many good reasons to let ì
this album sound more heavy."
On the tour with Stratovarius you had an additional guitarist, the ì
French Dominique Leurquin. How were your experiences? Was there no ì
jealousy between you and will he also be part of the next tour?
"With Dominique we have found the right person to the right time. We ì
wanted to sound much heavier on stage than on the two albums. Alex and I are ì
very content with the end result. There was no jealousy or whatsoever. Not ì
only because this is no character of mine but also because there was a deep ì
friendship between Dominique and all the musicians in Rhapsody from ì
the very first moment, because he is an extraordinary nice person. He is an ì
excellent and experienced guitarist and his abilities have noticeably added ì
to the quality of the Rhapsody-shows. I am sure that he will be the rhythms ì
guitar player of the upcoming tour, alone because I don't want to miss his ì
jokes that make life in a tour-bus so much more pleasant."
Have you said goodbye to all orchestral parts for "Dawn of victory"? ì
Is there a complete change of the sound of Rhapsody?
"No, of course not! As I mentioned, "Dawn of victory" sounds heavier ì
and more guitar-oriented. But Rhapsody would not be Rhapsody ì
if we wouldn't do what we call "Hollywood Metal". The well-known ì
film-soundtracks-elements can be heard on every single track of the album. ì
And moreover, we watched especially on the solos. Alex and I have decided ì
that we wanted more room for the solos. That's why they sound so fresh and ì
undisturbed by orchestral arrangements or other things. The new solos are in ì
comparison to the two former albums technically more highbrowed."
Despite the fact that the cover artwork of your last albums was very ì
welcomed by the fans, you have exchanged the artist. Instead of Eric ì
Philippe now Marc Klinnert. Why this change?
"Eric has worked for us on the first two albums. And everybody can ì
see the oustanding result. But for the new album we wanted to try something ì
different. In Marc we have found the perfect artist for the graphical ì
representation of the new Rhapsody-songs. Just like Alex and me, Marc too ì
loves American cinema, he loves films with special effects and that's why he ì
in his drawings is absolutely crazy visionary, the perfect guy for us and ì
our ideas. I love his style of painting, it is dramatic, grotesque, mystic ì
Didn't you have any worries that Klinnert would not understand your ideas?
"Already when we first saw the sketch of the cover artwork of the first ì
single "Holy thunderforce" we knew that the final result would be ì
great. It was inevitable that he had liked the basic idea that Alex and I ì
had for the artwork. Marc dived deep into our world of phantasies so there ì
was no need to discuss his artistic freedom. What was impressive for me was ì
the fact that Marc in the beginning of his work just needed the basic idea ì
and not every detail. And that is especially good because artistic freedom ì
can lead to the best results. Whenever an artist is pushed into a certain ì
direction by other people, quality is suffering."
How was the compository works this time. Were there heavy battles between ì
Alex and you again?
"As always, Alex and I met to compose new songs. There were some delighting ì
moments of absolute harmony but also horrible battles. Basically our musical ì
tastes are the almost same, it's just that we have different perspectives. I ì
would call myself a thoroughly experimental composer whereas Alex is more ì
conservative. But at the end of the day it's this connection which is the ì
secret of the quality of all Rhapsody songs. We are just different ì
personalities. But no matter how, in the end everybody has the possibility ì
to bring in himself totally into the music. Also in regard of our solo-ì
careers it is important that both musical visions come to fruition."
Who is "Thunderforce" who is mentioned in the credits of the songs. ì
Is that Alex Holzwarth, your new drummer?
"Thunderforce is a pseudonym. It's a friend of Sascha Paeth, our ì
producer. "Thunderforce" is a really excellent drummer who helped us ì
in this difficult situation. We had to begin the works on the new album when ì
we still were on tour with Stratovarius. That's why our new drummer, ì
Alex Holzwarth didn't have the time to learn all the drumming parts for the ì
composed songs for "Dawn of victory" and to play them for the ì
recording. We were very disappointed but we had no other choice. As with ì
every production so far we had to fight against the time."